etyres: Pole position in the market

Combining a convenient, low cost service with a top ranking on the internet's search engines is bringing in excellent repeat and referral business for etyres franchisees.

'The franchisor is dedicated to making sure that the etyres website is consistently ranked top of the league on all the search engines,' reveals Oxfordshire franchisee Lorna Greenaway, who invested in the franchise with her husband David. 'The business also grows through reputation and word of mouth - we're always getting people calling us saying we've been recommended by a friend, family member or neighbour.'

Established in 1992, etyres lives up to its claim to be 'the UK's number one online tyre retailer'. Unlike traditional tyre retailers operating from costly tyre depots, etyres franchisees offer customers a convenient, low-cost service, fitting the tyres at home or at work. A low overhead business model avoids the high overheads of traditional tyre depots, allowing franchisees to pass on savings of up to 40 per cent, while established accounts give franchisees immediate access to a huge volume of fleet car business.

Keen to own their own business, the Greenaways invested in their etyres franchise in April 2005. Formerly working in Formula One, David was keen on the automotive connection of the etyres franchisee while, having just had a baby, Lorna recognised the benefits of the convenient service to people with children.

'We came to the business totally reliant on the advice of etyres, and on the whole the training and launch support was well planned and thought out,' says Lorna. 'It was hard work building the business up, with me concentrating on the office duties and David going out fitting the tyres. We achieved our business plan targets for the first year, and are on target to almost double that for the second year.'

Since October David has divided his time between the business and a new job back in Formula One, which has led to the couple employing a fitter to fulfil demand. 'It's working out very well,' remarks Lorna. 'In fact, we're getting to the stage where we're almost too busy, and I'd like to see us getting a second van on the road once the business reaches a level to justify it.'

etyres is seeking prospective franchisees in key areas to extend its service further and is eager to hear from practical, hard working individuals with a strong ability to meet and communicate with customers. 'We're looking for people with practical as well as good communication skills,' reflects Managing Director Tony Bowman.

'A very good living can be made from operating just one van, but far greater earnings can be made by franchisees who grow the business to a two or three van operation. This is an opportunity to join a well-established company that has captured pole position in the online marketplace.'

Reported by Stuart Anderson